Locals rallying to provide aid, supplies

Published 10:13 pm Thursday, April 28, 2011

After surveying the damage from tornadoes and damaging winds, many people in the surrounding area have already taken the steps to bring relief to those affected by Wednesday’s storm.

James Flowers, general manager of utilities for the city of Troy, said an eight-man team has been sent to the northern part of the state in an effort to help restore power to the area.

“From Troy utilities, we’re sending a construction crew to Athens, Ala.,” James Flowers. “It’s always good to help your neighbors when they need help, because when the time comes when you may need help then you can call on them.”

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Flowers said the extent of the damage was surprising and realizes how important relief efforts are during this time.

“Tuscaloosa is in real bad shape and the place where we’re going has an awful lot of damage as well,” Flowers said.

Flowers said the eight-man team will arrive in four trucks and will work as long as it takes to help restore power to the Athens community.

The organizers of TroyFest have already taken the initiative to help aid the millions of people whose lives were turned upside down as a result of the storm system.

Amanda Hahn, vendor chair, said the TroyFest committee is concerned for the people affected by Wednesday’s storm and have decided to set up a “TroyFest Tornado Relief Fund.”

“KW Plastics will be providing 50 gallon drums for patrons to drop of non-perishable items,” Hahn said. “The items include canned goods, simple hygiene items, but will exclude clothing. The materials donated this weekend will be distributed to the Red Cross, who will then give the materials to those directly affected by the storms.”

Hahn said she and the rest of the TroyFest committee are going to “jumpstart” things off by having volunteers to manage the donated items.

“We’ll have stations set up and we’re wanting to get the word out about what we’re having there so people will be prepared to help aid in the relief efforts,” Hahn said.

With relief efforts already underway, it is important to remember the needs of the people aiding in those efforts.

Jennifer Register, Pike County’s fire fighter events planner, said she and others have set up stations around Troy for patrons to donate “basic needs” supplies to relief workers.

“We are doing a water and snack drive for first responders that are going to north Alabama,” Register said. “If they don’t keep their energy up, then they may not be able to perform their job well.”

The first responders will be helping those affected in Elmore County and northern Alabama and, although people generally love to see the first responders when they arrive. Register said there are two drop-off points for patrons willing to donate goods and supplies.

“Right now we’ve got drop-off points at Firehouse Subs and the Doghouse,” Register said.

Register said water and snacks could be dropped off on Monday and Thursday nights from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Pike County Fire and Rescue Building located at 509 Orion St.

“We’re asking for Gatorade, water and any non-perishable snacks,” Register said.

In other efforts:

• The Piggly Wiggly on U.S. 231 South is accepting donations of non-perishable food items

• Lyncoach Truck Bodies in Troy has a truck going to Guntersville (Arab area) Friday morning. Non-perishables can be dropped off at the office. Most needed items are bottled water, toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste/mouthwash, baby wipes and diapers.

• Terra Cotta is accepting non-perishable items and clothing as part of the Toomer’s for Tuscaloosa effort.

• And Serpahim is donating 50 percent of it sales today to the relief effort.